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MacTarnahan's Summer Grifter - Portland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
MacTarnahan's Summer GrifterMacTarnahan's Summer Grifter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

35 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 54
Avg: 3.59
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Portland Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 04-19-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Malts: 2 Row, Munich and Caramel Malts
Hops: Chinook, CTZ, Cascade and Centennial
IBU: 54
ABV: 6.2%
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 54
Photo of Zarn
4.4/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my all time favorite inexpensive IPA's nice godlen orange color, creamy head, nice lace, good mouthfeel good hop parings w/ just the right semi-doughy malt flavor combine for a very very drinkable beverage. It's not just a breakfast food anymore.

This is my go to when the cornies blow!

Z1, Vantucky,WA

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Photo of u2carew
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Brewforia in Meridan, ID on a road trip. 12oz stubby.
A) Pours with a big, two finger head that sticks around. Creamy, tight, sticky lacing. Subtle haze. Upward carbonation. Amber in color.
S) Orange. Caramel. Pleasant floral aroma. The aroma induces mouth watering.
T) A well balanced combination of malt and hops. Sweet citrus flavors. Sturdy caramel, nutty tones. Finishes with a brown sugar sweetness along with some floral tones... Heather-esque?
M) Medium body. Smooth. Creamy.
D) A delicious brew! I'd have another... if only I had picked up two bottles on that road trip!

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Photo of kaseydad
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Pyramid Brewhouse in Walnut Creek.

Came to the table with a clear caramal appearance with a tiny head that quickly vanishes.

A great sweet hoppy aroma with pineapple and pear whiffs.

Awesome taste. Hoppy, sweet and chewy goodness. A nice biting aftertaste as a high quality IPA should have...but not too much which makes the drinking experience that much better.

Very high drinkability as I had two in one sitting and was debating on another. A great IPA which I hope to find in the store soon.

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Photo of olmatty
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a brownish amber beer with a fluffy, white head that has sheets of lacing clinging to the glass.

Smell- herbaceous and bitter hops fairy sting the nose.

Taste- Strong, citrus hop and biscuity malt backdrop, spicy hop bitterness bumps along at the bottom

Mouthfeel- Big bodied and smoothly carbonated.

Drinkability- A really nice brew, but the stickiness of the hops might be too much to have more than a couple. Overall quite a a strong offering.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Lubiere: Poured a light amber color ale with a medium size foamy head with light retention and lacing. Aroma of citrus and piney notes from Cascade hops is dominating. Taste is also dominated by strong citrus and piney notes from the Cascades hops as well as some dry caramel notes. Body is bit thin for style with good carbonation. I guess this was an OK overall experience though nothing to write home about.

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Photo of jkdrummer
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bronze tone more on the reddish side, nice foamy head that very soon disappears into a thin lace on top. Aroma is very clean and hoppy as expected. Initial taste has big bite of citrus and hops. Wonderful after bite too. Not too sweet but could use a bit more malt flavor IMHO. Nice bodied amberish IPA for this summer's hot days. Refreshingly easy to drink too. Recommended.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Grifter pours a amber color with a small foam head and some tight bubble lacing. Aroma is really nice and hoppy with smells of citrus and pineapple.

The taste was slightly off on the malt profile but overall it tasted pretty good. It was really hoppy and with a good IBU kick. In the mouth it was medium of carbonation. I am not a huge fan of this local establishments beers but I would have to say this is one of the better drinks from them I have had in a long time.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber

A: golden and roasted brown with tints of yellow. Soft reds mingle around the glass as well. Head formed quickly and left quickly, bright white in hue. Globs of lace at random places on the glass

S: hop smells of oranges, pineapples, and lemony pine. Smells of pale toasted malts swirl the senses

T: caramel toasted (light biscuit character) edge proves a nice fit in this brew, tight and in the back. Hops are nicely present and the pine dominates with sugar sprinkled fruit slices of oranges and lemons. Fairly balanced overall with bitter snap hop

M: mild body with vigorous bubble work. Body is slick and drinks well

D: this is the best MacTarnahan's brew I have had too date. Nice profile and hop presence with favorable flavors. Good brew!

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Photo of Spikester
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear reddish amber with a one finger cream white head. Fair amount of lacing. Aroma is bold piney hops. Taste is piney bitter hops with a minor malt note. Mouthfeel is just above average and has medium carbonation. Drinkability is quite good if you enjoy the dry piney hop flavors. Best Mac-T's so far.

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Photo of brokennedy120
3.86/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this poured from a bottle. The hops in this beer taste very very fresh (right off the vine taste) and set it firmly above other local IPAs I have had. Fruity smell and flavor, very clear (no cloudiness) orange color, and light feel. Head comprised of big white bubbles.

I'm just disappointed there isn't more of of it!

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Photo of Docer
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Was waiting a bit, but had to grab a bomber of this just to try it.. and I am glad I did... because so far it actually looks and seems quite good... let's see..

- Bubbly clear caramel color... copper penny... huge fluffy white head... quite slow and boiling down... lacing in abundance..

- Big citrus smell.. a little bit like a Hop Stoopid, but also a little bit like a fresh summit hop... really a nice refreshing scent.... a good smell for sure. Little bit of sweet caramel and brown sugar...

- Quite light.... great bittering hop for sure.. some zesty citrus and pine hop, and also a nice dash of lemon zest and fruit.. very light and hides the strength it says it has with great ease... actually very good... did I get a really good bomber or what.. wondering because some of the reviews are not very favorable..

- Bit dry, oily.. but light at the same time... throws a good bitter punch..

- Flavor, smell, smoothness... high marks for sure... but way over carbonated for my tastes in an IPA... little bit more west coast cloudiness and less carb. and this would be an instant classic.

I think some of the poor reviews are based on the fact that this is a large craft merger... but realize that they are some of the oldest crafts and this is a new release from them to compete with a whole new world of new treats... and I think they did quite well.

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Photo of brownbeer
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Goose Island IPA glass. Orange with a reddish-hue and a generous, pillowy head.

Smells nice, doughy malt and a big, floral, American hop profile. Balanced.

Medium bodied, hop resins; a touch of pine; maybe a little diacetyl. Almost has a Red Ale vibe.

Finishes with a pleasant hop bite that's not too dry.

This beer is a stand out amoung IPAs, but it is a nice change of pace for a summer seasonal and another tasty, well balanced brew from Mac's. Pair it with some pizza and enjoy.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grifter (n.) - a person who swindles or scams you by means of deception or fraud

Maybe they were trying to think of a cool name like 'rogue, dissident, renegade...and all those good names were taken so they settled for something just plain unappealing?

So, I'll further question the label with the odd 'lurking' subtitle. It's definitely strange, and the caricature guy has a creepy pedophile/pervert look to him(and a black eye?). Bad enough it's called Grifter, the guy looks like emotionally disturbed as well as criminally so. I don't remember the last label that had such negative appeal.

Oh well, crappy marketing aside, it's what's inside that counts.

Pours a gorgeous deep copper and the lacing clings to my glass nicely. Aroma is juicy hops, with a bit of lemon pledge, definitely a good level of hops in this PacNW IPA.

Flavor is hop forward, good spiciness and full mouthfeel. Chewy hop resin, some subtle malt playing around in the background, enough to create a decent balance. Nothing noticeably off here. Good carbonation and aftertaste, one of the better Pyramid/McTarnahan brews i've had.

A solid IPA. Oh no, the grifter is eying me now!

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Photo of monkeylovebeer
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Like the name says, this beer is only drifting though town hoping to pull a couple of marks. Come the end of August, it will be gone, and so will a big chunk of your cash.

This limited edition IPA pours a tangerine-tinged gold and throws a surprisingly malt-forward nose complimented with citrus notes. Upon first sip, the malt profile holds your attention as the hops (Chinook, CTZ, Cascade, and Centennial) sneak in the back, quietly.

At a mere 54 IBUs, I would have called this an American Pale Ale; it's not what I expected for the style, but I found myself warming to this mongrel. With so many West Coast IPAs vying to each be hoppier than the last, the Grifter is a refreshing change of ... God damn it! Where's my wallet?

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Photo of GilGarp
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 9/2/09

12oz. brown bottle with twist off cap. Served cold in the Sam Adams glass.

This beer pours a hazy orange color with tall sticky head that leaves spotty lacing behind.

Aroma is hoppy but not over the top. It's sweet and citrusy. Flavor is mildly bitter and pretty well balanced.

Mouthfeel is smooth and not too carbonated, medium-light in body.

Definately a PNW IPA, which makes sense, but just not hoppy enough to be an IPA. If they had called it a pale ale I would be happier with it. As it is, a little underwhelming.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.66/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bright copper-colored beer pours with a substantial, stable head of foam--very pretty. The nose is a bit weak though, offering light grapefruit-citrus hop aroma and little else. Taste, likewise, is weak. This is my third IPA in a row this week that has offered lots of bitterness and little in the way of hop flavor. No other taste components are really evident to back it up either. It's drinkable enough, but not interesting.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

six packs of Grifter were oddly on the shelf right next to Drifter, which I'd tried already... so Grifter it is.

pours a dark caramel nutty bronze with a surprisingly soft and creamy one-finger cream head that leaves some fair lacing. not off to a bad start.

aroma is fairly pungently hoppy with strong caramel, toffee, and hints of vanilla. citrusy and piney, very northwest hoppy.

taste follows aroma with some spicy hops, pine and lemon. the malt is almost entirely hidden and the citric hops definitely take center stage. the hops are a bit muddled, but certainly not offensive.

mouth is a bit on the thin side, but the ample carbonation really helps to create a smooth and creamy body. fairly simple yet powerful lingering bitterness.

If citric lemony hops are your thing, this is your beer. the lack of malt is a bit of a deal breaker for me, as the hops aren't quite impressive enough to hold up the entire thing. certainly drinkable, but between the heavy citric hopping and the bizarre branding, not quite my thing. Easily the best bottled Mac's beer I've tried in awhile... kind of nice to see.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber.
Nice dark amber colour,lovelly large ,tight bubbled creme coloured head.
Smell very hoppy, spicy citric varieties. Quite enjoyable.
Taste again is very lemoney hopcentric, but it rather fades fast in the end. malts seem weak in this one.
Mouthfeel is good, but like i said it became watery very fast at th end, no big after tase.
Its fairly drinkable, but I think it is missing something

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Photo of sqquuee
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this in a pint glass.

Smells of pine, oranges, dank hops.

Appearance clear good orange color. Clear, 1 good solid finger of foam. Superb lacing.

Tastes of pine, slight malt flavor (Munich), slightly sweeter than i like in a IPA, a touch of caramel.

Body is medium.

I would buy another 6er for sure.

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Photo of ricke49
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It may be that this beer is seriously under-respected. For $1.89 per bomber it's as good a deal in IPAs as can be had. The particular blend of citrus / pine / and malt is pleasant. The head is very lasting. When compared to other budget "summer" offerings, it comes out very strong. I suspect if it were labeled with a more 'favored' label i.e. Deschutes, Sierra Nevada, Stone, etc, it would be received more favorably. But MacTarnahans / Pyramid (particularly Pyramid) is not known for exceeding expectations. I'd consider this a diamond in the rough; and if I were to host a late summer gathering I think Grifter bombers would be available in large numbers. As it is, it's a hell of a bargain and a great way to enjoy real ale without having to go broke.

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3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange copper. Tight offwhite cap. Sticky waves of lace.

Spicy resins and pine. Toasted bread and caramel. Slightly muted overall. Above average, but not enough to bump up.

Rush of biting citrus and pine. Rolling caramel sweetness and toasted bread. Spicy resin and pine moderate bitterness.

Some drying and some stickiness. Medium-light body. Moderate carbonation.

Refreshing tasty summer IPA. Wont blow you away, but a decent sessionable IPA.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A nice copper color with a one and a half finger head. moderate lacing and good retention.
S- Smell is of light malty sweetness, and standard western style ipa hoppyness. Citrusy, but balanced.
T- This beer opens with a bit of caramel flavor quickly followed up by rough hoppyness. There can be intense hoppiness that is smooth, but this was just hops without much reason.
M- Too light, but the carbonation was spot on to keep it somewhat lively on the tongue. between the hops and the carbonation, this could almost be described as prickly.
D- This beer was just an average ipa for me. Worth a try, but not worth going out of your way for. Light and summery enough for a couple in a sitting. My main issue was that the flavors were good, individually, but there wasn't much linking them. This is a decent beer, but with some adjustments, could be made much better.
last edit: 7/19/10

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Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clean/clear golden copper color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with lots of nice thick sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a nice little sweetness to it, slighlty hoppy, with some citrus notes. The taste is mostly malty, but with a nice hop note, bitter, slight citrus note. Medium body. Drinkable, better than I thought it would be.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Polished kumquat that is as clear as the proverbial bell. My standard pour quickly filled the upper third of the pint glass with nicely textured foam that is some combination of beige and pale orange. Plenty of lace is beginning to appear on all available surfaces, which cements the appearance score seen above.

Despite the use of pale, Munich and caramel malts, the second and third on that list are barely appreciated in the nose. Classic 4-C hops provide a pleasant citrusiness that isn't aromatic enough to be worthy of praise. This could be pretty good beer from a brewery that is never a lock in that department.

Summer Grifter tastes and feels more like an APA than an IPA. Maybe Pyramid decided to ease up on the ingredients to make a lighter ale in the Summer IPA mold. Whatever that is. Screw the name. Give us bigger and bolder beer please.

Most of the 54 IBUs are appreciated, so bitterness is not in short supply. Unfortunately, there isn't enough good hop flavor to go along with it. That seems to be what separates the men from the boys (or the women from the girls) when it comes to the India pale ale style. A smidge of caramel is quickly overcome by white grapefruit zest that never really reaches ramming speed. If you like alpha acid-soaked APAs, have at it.

As already alluded to, the mouthfeel comes up short. It's too light for the style, but has good enough carbonation (both in terms of amount and feel) to keep the score on the happy side of average.

Summer Grifter is a little shabby, a little undernourished and a little rough around the edges. It would be better beer if it was filled out and dressed up and had a more refined manner. Considering what else in available in the Pacific Northwest, this one deserves to live on the fringes.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden color, a little bit bright. Definitely the grapefruit type of aroma, would have wished for more complexity to it.

More grapefruit, a very bitter ipa, this one definitely has its hop game, but the bitterness is a little too one dimensional without a floral hop presence, its just, dare I say, gratingly harsh, in a nice way, but it would be a very good ipa if it could somehow get some hop mouthfeel upped v. the bitterness in and of itself. Malt body seems fine, maybe more caramel would drown out the one sided bitterness.

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MacTarnahan's Summer Grifter from Portland Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.